The pandemic may have disrupted business flying for months, but there is good news for those who may have had to “pause” their career – furloughed employees are being recalled and companies are hiring new people.
“The storm is passing, but a new storm is coming,” said Jennifer Guthrie, CEO of In-Flight Crew Connections. “My concern is to be ready for what I believe is going to come: we are all going to be very busy.”
Guthrie expects an even greater uptick in hiring for pilots and other operations positions as international travel opens up.
“Companies are not strapped for pilots today, but when international travel comes back, that’s when we will feel the pinch,” noted Guthrie, whose company has begun booking contract pilots for overseas trips.
The staffing expert recommends that pilots returning to the workforce get current in their most recent aircraft and obtain training in a different aircraft if they can afford it, thereby making themselves more marketable.
“You are more likely to become employed if you are vaccinated, and make sure you offer that information to potential employers. ”
MARGARET VERNET President and Founder, Corporate Aviators
The demand for technicians was strong prior to COVID-19 and remained robust during the pandemic, as many operators took advantage of downtime to focus on aircraft maintenance. Staffing specialists expect the MRO job market to remain vigorous, making the field an excellent choice for people entering the industry.
Margaret Vernet, president and founder of Corporate Aviators, is even seeing more requests for student interns, a positive sign for those just starting their careers.
Vernet believes that being vaccinated is key to getting a job in the rebounding business aviation industry.
“You are more likely to become employed if you are vaccinated, and make sure you offer that information to potential employers,” she said. “Business aircraft are not conducive to social distancing, and masks are not always practical. We have all talked for decades about safety as our priority. Vaccination is a part of safety.”
Zoe Katsilis, director of sales and recruitment for Jet Aviation Staffing, encouraged job seekers during the pandemic to use downtime to update their resumes.
Even though 2020 was a difficult year, Katsilis believes that business aviation employment is back on track. Having the ability to pivot will be an asset to job seekers going forward. “It’s important to be agile and flexible in this industry.
“One door closes, but another opens,” added Katsilis, “This has been a good time to map out your future. The world has changed post-COVID, so to get back in the industry, be open to change.”